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Sexuality Gender and Rights Institute

CREA’s Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute (SGRI) is an annual residential course that focuses on a conceptual study of sexuality and has been running since 2002. It examines the links between sexuality, rights, gender, and health, and their interface with socio-cultural and legal issues. Participants critically analyze policy, research, and programme interventions using a rights-based approach while linking theory to practice. The Institute is an invaluable resource for activists, researchers, journalists, and practitioners working on issues of sexuality, LGBT rights, sexual rights, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence (GBV), health, and gender.

Assume nothing, assume less, or if you are making assumptions, know what you are assuming

Geetanjali Misra on the SGRI ‘mantra’

The SGRI has been made-to-fit for diverse contexts and language needs, and are conducted in Global and Indian (Hindi) contexts, as SGRI Global and SGRI Hindi. Previously, CREA led similar Institutes for the Indian context in English as SGRI India (English) and for the Nepali context as SGRI Nepal. Rooted in feminist and social justice purpose, principles, politics and practice without exception, the Institute challenges participants’ deeply held, and often personal, assumptions about sexuality and rights, so that they may go out into the world and change the frame and discourse of sexuality, gender and rights and develop alternatives to oppressive social and political norms.

The Institute targets practitioners, activists, researchers, and those working directly or indirectly on sexuality and/or human rights. The global SGRI brings together practitioners and activists from around the world, with world-class faculty from the global North and South working across disciplines and fields. SGRI India is meant for practitioners, activists, researchers, and people working directly or indirectly on sexuality and/or human rights in South Asia. The regional Institutes enable alliance-building and engagement with issues of sexuality, gender, and rights in country- and language-specific contexts. We have a strong network of alumni from the SGR Institutes nationally, regionally, and globally. CREA is working to create and implement a broad, global cohesive SGRI Alumni Strategy, bringing all these Alumni together.

SGRI has created resilient networks for stronger information sharing and cross-learning between activists and practitioners working across sexuality, gender, rights of structurally excluded groups, and gender-based violence nationally, regionally, and globally. The participants are able to examine sexuality not just from the lens of violence, protection, danger, and exclusion but also from the lens of pleasure, rights, and affirmation. This has enabled activists from different regions to address issues of consent, pleasure, autonomy, discrimination, and equality in their policy advocacy and program implementation, and fostered greater inter-movement dialogues and networks.

SGRI Global

SGRI Global is a nine-day residential program with internationally renowned faculty drawing upon different social science disciplines and human rights practices, using a mix of teaching methods to help participants reflect on theory and practice as they examine the intersections between gender, sexuality and rights, with an emphasis on interrogating social hierarchies, exclusion and discrimination based on sexuality.

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SGRI India (Hindi)

SGRI India (Hindi), also known as ‘Yaunikta, Gender aur Adhikar—Ek Adhyayan’, was started in 2007. It has been designed for individuals identifying themselves as women development workers from community-based organizations in India to enhance their understanding of concepts related to sexuality, gender, and human rights by deconstructing gender, sexuality, sexual rights, identities and building understanding on principles of consent, bodily integrity, non-discrimination, pleasure, freedom, and protection from harm. During this six-day annual residential Institute participants learn the intersections of sexuality with caste, class, ethnicity, orientation, labor, reproductive health, disability, mental well-being, and other intersections.

SGRI (Hindi) is also CREA’s effort to share feminist values and principles and discuss important concepts and accurate information on sexuality and its intersections in Hindi. This is particularly because debates around new concepts globally and regionally take place in English, and this linguistic barrier should not impede Hindi-speaking activists and practitioners, especially those working in Hindi-speaking belts/areas to engage with and respond to ongoing changes and related conversations.

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The SGRI Alumni Institute

The SGRI Alumni Institute is an advanced residency program open only to CREA SGRI alumni. It is aimed at deepening the alumni’s understanding of issues introduced in previous institutes, along with facilitating more cutting-edge debates among participants, as well as exploring frameworks through which to address emerging issues on sexual rights, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE) advocacy, disability and sexuality, intersex rights, and freedom of expression. It invites participants to explore feminist faultlines and feminist movement-building.